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Pastel power: 5 Instagram-worthy pink sand beaches

Enjoying the sea breeze while watching turquoise waves gently crashing against pastel pink sand, sounds like the perfect fairytale setting — except it’s a reality. Pink sand beaches, though a rare phenomenon, do exist; and they may just be the prettiest sight you’ve ever seen.

Unlike the usual golden coasts associated with tropical islands the likes of the Maldives or Bali, these pastel-hued beaches attain their gorgeous colour from bright pink, orange and salmon-tinted bits of crushed coral, crystals, fossils and microscopic marine creatures that fall to the seabed and are washed ashore. Mixed with white sand, the result is a beautiful pastel pink.

Scattered around the globe, some of these lovely pink sand beaches are surprisingly rather accessible from Singapore. In fact, Southeast Asia is home to some of the most beautiful rose-hued coasts in the world. From the Bahamas‘ Harbour Island to Indonesia‘s Pink Beach, here are the 5 best pink sand beaches around the world worthy of a spot on your bucket list — or Instagram feed. Now all you need is your favourite swimwear, a floppy beach hat, and sunscreen for the perfect OOTD. No filter required.

(Featured image credit: adhityaezytravel/ Flickr; Main image credit: @karelea/Instagram)

Harbour Island, the Bahamas

The mention of the Bahamas easily conjures up images of swanky resorts and casinos lining the beaches of Nassau, Paradise Island and Cable Beach. However, it is also home to quite arguably the most famous of all the pink beaches in the world: Harbour Island, an idyllic spot with three miles of candy-coloured shores.

The sand is a composition of bits of coral, broken shells, minute rocks and calcium carbonate from tiny marine invertebrates. The pastel pink colour is a result of the shells of foraminifera (microscopic, single-celled organisms), which are bright pink or red.

(Image credit: DhkZ / Flickr) 

Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia

While famous for being the sanctuary of the giant dragons the island is named after, Komodo Island is also home to Pink Beach. The beach, also known as “Pantai Merah”, is one of the many beaches the group of 17,000 islands in the Republic of Indonesia is known for. The beach’s hue is attained from a mixture of sand from white calcium carbonate and the bright red skeletons of organ pipe corals, which are abundant in certain areas of Komodo National Park.

(Image credit: Kim & Bing’s Travel Photos / Flickr)

Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece

One of the hidden gems of the world, this tiny Greek island south of the Mediterranean island of Crete is separated by a shallow lagoon from shore. It boasts a gorgeous beach covered in pink sand, creating a beautiful contrast with the vibrant turquoise sea. If you’re looking for a safe haven to get away from the Santorini crowds, this is it.

(Image credit: Jan-Erik Larsson)

Great Santa Cruz Island, the Philippines

While the Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches in Cebu and Boracay, this small inhabited island in Zamboanga City is a lesser known treasure featuring beaches with pink coralline sand. The photogenic pink hues come from a mixture of white sand with pulverised red organ pipe coral from decades of surf erosion.

(Image credit: @juanpablochakon)

Spiaggia Rosa, Italy

This small isle in Italy, dubbed “pink paradise”, is a picturesque setting with clear turquoise waters, lush vegetation, purple rocks, and a rose-coloured beach — deeming it the pearl of the La Maddalena archipelago. We can’t think of a prettier background to show off your beach bod for your #OOTD. 

(Image credit: @marco.cometti)

Dewi Nurjuwita
Senior Writer
Dewi Nurjuwita is a travel and design writer who can be found exploring the streets of foreign cities with passport in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.